Today we’d like to introduce you to Katrien Van Der Schueren.
Katrien, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I came to the US 14 years ago. I followed my husband who had a job offer in LA. I didn’t have a work permit at first so I couldn’t apply for jobs, but did all the shows and realized there might be a market for vintage posters. I started importing vintage posters and selling them to poster dealers. Quickly, I added art and vintage furniture to the mix and was in a big need for proper custom framing of the work. Dissatisfied with my options, I started framing for myself at first and quickly found that other people were interested in my services. A little later, I opened a first showroom in Los Angeles and gradually developed towards making our own furniture and art compared to importing vintage pieces. Our custom made furniture and art was successful and by now we have an extensive clientele for whom we custom create. Half a year ago, we moved to voila!’s new studio on 749 North La Brea Ave. The building hosts our design team, our artists and our framing artisans. The upholstery, metal work and wood work for furniture happens in South LA.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Nothing was linear. It was a fascinating road but one with quite some struggles on the way. First off, I had never been self-employed before coming to LA. I had never had my own business, employees nor had I even ever lived in LA or knew anyone out here to hire or to sell to for that matter or to connect with even. So, if I look back, it was kind of crazy and definitely not very thought through 😉 When I opened a showroom in 2008, the crisis happened and ever since I believe showrooms have suffered as to selling anything vintage. Happily, I had evolved towards offering custom services and was able to grow that business successfully. By now, our client base is very solid and we are off to more growth.
Voila! Creative Studio – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Our company is actually almost two companies. We have the custom framing division where we custom frame art for collectors, galleries, designers etc. We are known for our museum quality framing and offer regular mouldings to custom made metal moldings and hand carved custom finished frames. Besides that voila! is a creative studio. We custom design and make whatever someone needs. Whether that is one chair for a dining room or all furniture and art for a bar or hotel, we custom design and fabricate from concept to final product and anything in between. The difference with other makers is our wide variety of materials we work in as well as the fact that we offer the whole process, we do woodwork, metal work, glass work, finishes and upholstery all in one studio. This saves a lot of clients a lot of time and money working with just one vendor. We are a one stop shop from concept through 3D rendering, modeling, testing and final product or anywhere in between. We are renown for the fact that we get things done within the timeline and the reliability of our work.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Personally, I feel successful when I can be proud of what I do, the studio’s work and its team. When I know my clients are happy. When I know the team is enjoying the work we do and I am enjoying it. When there is time enough to find some creative freedom and to feel inspired daily. When there is an enjoyable work/life balance for all. And when there are things I can dream of to achieve next.
- Address: 749 North La Brea Ave.,
Los Angeles, CA 90038
- Website: www.voilacreativestudio.com
- Phone: 3239540418
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @voilacreativestudio
- Facebook: @voilacreativestudio